Brickell and Downtown are not areas that are known for being very family-friendly. They are known more for their nightlife–but living there I have seen a whole different side to Brickell. I am blessed enough to say I live where some vacation.
One of the reasons I love Brickell is that you don’t need to use your car too often because everything is a short walk, bike, or train ride away. They also have a huge variety of restaurants that serve different cuisines, so no matter what your craving, it is close by. Most places are also open late which is awesome for me because we are night owls. I love the Brickell/Downtown skyline. Not only is it beautiful, but it is constantly changing. The best part of Brickell is not really a place but the people. Brickell is a melting pot of people from all over the world.
But if I had to pick my favorite spots these would be them.
Public School in Brickell
Brickell does not have many options when it comes to public school. But I really wanted to talk about the one they do have because it is amazing.
Southside Preparatory Academy, formerly Southside Elementary, is the only public school in Brickell and has now converted into a K – 8. They are part of the MDCPS magnet program and they are a museum magnet. Southside is always doing out-of-the-box ideas for the kids. They even have a small vegetable garden in front of the school that the children plant and harvest. A worry most people have is safety because the school is on a main street but they take care of that by having at least 1 Brickell police officer on campus all day long. Both my older kids have attended there, and I couldn’t be happier with the school and the employees. It is located at 45 SW 13th St, Miami, FL 33130.
Parks in Brickell
Parks are extremely important to my family. They work as exercise so they get out energy, as physical therapy for the kids, and are few of the places where they can be social and interact with other kids since the beginning of the pandemic. Either my in-laws or I try to take them as often as possible.
Southside Park is a small, cute park right off of the Brickell exit of the Metrorail. It has 2 brand new playgrounds, one for 1-8-year-olds and one for kids 8+. It also has one full basketball court, which honestly is always packed. There is lots of green grass space to run around and dogs are permitted. The park is accessible either through SW 12th street or SW 11 street. Southside Park is located at 140 SW 11 St Miami, FL 33137. The park is open daily from Sunrise to Sunset.
Jose Marti Park is popular with locals and visitors of all ages. The park features a public riverwalk that runs the length of its grounds with benches where you can read a book and watch boats float by. They have 4 outdoor basketball courts and 2 playgrounds. This park has a recreational center with indoor basketball courts, an indoor gym, and offers classes like Zumba, yoga, and even music classes for kids. On Tuesdays at 6 pm, they have free yoga classes on a first come first serve basis. If you want to cool down on a hot Miami day, they have a 6 lane 25-meter pool. This park offers community-based activities like afterschool and summer camps. Jose Marti Park is located at 362 SW 4th St Miami, FL 33130. The park is open daily from 6 am to 10 pm.
Simpson Park is a natural preserve that covers 8 acres of tropical hardwood Brickell Hammock. It is one of the first conservation efforts in Brickell. It houses over 162 plant species including 96 native, 15 endangered, and 9 threatened species. They have beautiful walking trails and picnic tables where you can stop and eat. Simpson Park is located at 5 SW 17th Road Miami, FL 33129. The park is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.
The Underline is a new 10-mile linear park under the Metrorail. It runs from the Miami River to the Brickell Metrorail station. The River Room is specifically an area for dogs and their owners. Dogs are permitted on a leash and both you and your pup can enjoy the scenery.
In the next area, there is a dual-purpose court for either a half-court game of basketball or mini-pitch soccer. If you don’t like to play a sport you can just take advantage of the urban gym which has outdoor exercise equipment and a running track.
In the Promenade section, they have an area for community events, dining tables, tables for board games, and a seating area for those who need to sit and take a break. The Oolite Room is the final stretch of the Underline and is right by the Metro Mover. This is the most relaxing section with four butterfly gardens and meditative spaces.
Where to Eat in Brickell/Downtown
There is an insane number of restaurants in the Brickell/Downtown area but these are some of my favorites. I made sure to include some that are more family-friendly and a couple for date nights.
Moshi Moshi is a delicious Japanese restaurant with plenty of options. The best part is they are open 24 hours which means you never need to settle for Mcdonald’s. One date night we ordered for take-out and ate at the tables at the Underline. They are located at 1744 SW 3rd Ave Miami, FL, 33129.
Balan’s is a brasserie that focuses on European cuisine and is located in The Shops at Mary Brickell Village. They are all about fresh local ingredients which means they have seasonal menus. Balan’s even has Le Cirque on Thursdays starting at 8 pm where you can enjoy live circus acts and music. They are located at 901 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33130. They are open every day from 9 am to 12 am.
Friends Market and Bistro is best known for its amazing brunch and the adorable Fresh Market right next door. They serve a little bit of everything including delicious milkshakes, pizza, pasta, arepas, acai fruit bowls, and waffles just to name a few. Friends is located at 31 SE 6th Street Miami, FL 33131. They are open Monday to Thursday from 7 am to 12 am, Friday to Saturday 24 hours, and Sunday from 12 pm to 12 am.
Komodo is a high-end Southeast Asian 3 story indoor/outdoor restaurant and lounge. They have 3 bars and unique outdoor floating seating to create a treehouse feel. They are located at 801 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131. Komodo’s dining room is open Monday to Wednesday and Sunday from 6 pm – 11 pm and on Thursday to Saturday from 6 pm – 12 pm. The lounge is open Thursday to Saturday 10 pm – Close. Another mom recommended Komodo for date night in this article.
Moxie’s Bar and Grill is a casual dining restaurant focused on a mix of Asian and American cuisine. They offer Happy Hour from 3 pm – 6 pm Monday to Friday and offer brunch on the weekends. Moxie’s is located in The Shops at Mary Brickell at 900 S Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33130. They are open Monday to Wednesday from 11:30 am – 12 am, Thursday to Friday from 11:30 am – 1 am, Saturday from 11 am – 1 am, and Sunday from 11 am – 12 am.
North Italia is an Italian restaurant that focuses on homey Northern Italian dishes that taste like someone’s grandmother made them. You have plenty of fresh options from the chef’s daily pizza special to the Bolognese. They even offer take-home family kits that you can cook and build with the kids. North Italia is located in The Shops at Mary Brickell at 900 S Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33130. They are open Monday to Thursday from 11 am – 10 pm, Friday from 11 am – Midnight, Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm, and Sunday from 10 am – 10 pm.
Nurs Et Steakhouse is “Salt Bae’s” restaurant which focuses on meat lovers. They are located at 999 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131. They are open every day from 12 pm to 12 am.
Things to Do in Brickell/Downtown
There are a plethora of options for entertainment in both Downtown and Brickell. These are some of my kid’s favorite places to go and a couple that are more focused on teens and adults, so I broke it down into categories to make it easier.
Pérez Art Museum Miami, also known as PAMM, is a modern and contemporary art museum that exhibits international art. This might seem like something that is only for adults and older kids but it is really not. Every time I have taken my kids they have special activities that even the little ones can participate in. The best part is they are always doing some kind of special to get people to go. If you are a Bank of America cardholder, a child under 6, active military or veteran, or a health care professional or 1st responder you can get in for free with a valid ID. They are open Thursday from 2 – 9 pm and Friday to Sunday from 11 am – 6 pm. PAMM is located at 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
Frost Science Museum stands out as one of only a few institutions worldwide to have both an aquarium and a planetarium in one museum. This museum is a must-see. It is absolutely breathtaking and has so many amazing and super interesting exhibits that it is hard to get through everything in one visit. Frost museum doesn’t put out specials like the other 2 museums but first responders, active US military, and veterans with proper identification receive free general admission to the museum. They are open Monday to Thursday from 10 am – 5 pm and Friday to Sunday from 10 am – 7 pm. The Frost Museum is located at 1101 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL 33132.
History Miami, formally known as the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, is the largest history museum in the State of Florida. This is another museum that is always giving a free ticket to come. They also hold Free Family Fun Days (currently on hold because of COVID) on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10 am – 5 pm where you can explore the museum and participate in family activities. History Miami is located at 101 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33130. They are open Thursday to Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday from 12 pm – 4 pm.
American Airlines Arena is a sports and entertainment multi-purpose arena. It is soon to be named the FTX Arena. This center is used for a plethora of events, from the Miami Heat Basketball games to all kinds of concerts to Disney on Ice. It is located at 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132.
Adrienne Arsht Center is a performing arts center in Downtown Miami. It is one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States. They are home to different events all year long. Some of the events that have been held at the Adrienne Arsht Center are presidential debates, the Broadway in Miami series, Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, the New World Symphony, and dozens of free events. The center also works very closely with Miami Dade County Public Schools and offers more than 100 education programs. It is located at 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132.
Brickell City Center is a 4-level semi-enclosed shopping center. This beautiful mall, which is 5 blocks long, has 96 + stores and restaurants. They also use the multi-use space to hold events and exercise classes. Brickell City Centre is open Monday to Thursday from 11 am – 8 pm, Friday to Saturday from 11 am – 9 pm, and Sunday from 11 am – 7 pm. It is located at 701 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33131.
Bayside Marketplace is a 2 story open-air shopping center in Downtown Miami right next to American Airlines Arena. It houses 150 shops and 36 restaurants and even has an outdoor stage and live music every day. Their latest addition is the Skyviews Miami. It is a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel with 42 completely enclosed and climate-controlled gondolas. Bayside is open Monday to Thursday from 11 am – 8 pm and Friday to Sunday from 11 am – 9 pm. Skyviews Miami is open daily from 1 pm – 10 pm and each ride lasts 12 – 15 mins. Bayside is located at 401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
Silver Spot is an upscale movie theater that offers the option for dine-in while you are watching the movie for a full experience. They also have a bar available for moviegoers that are 21 and older. Keep in mind they are closed Mondays and Wednesdays. Silver Spot is located in Downtown at 300 SE 3rd St, Miami, FL 33131.
CMX is an upscale movie theater with a dine-In and handcrafted cocktails option located in Brickell City Centre on the 4th Floor. They also have a 2 story sports bar and lounge if you prefer to watch sports instead of a movie. CMX is located at 701 S Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33130.
Extreme Axe Throwing is an ax or hatchet throwing experience hidden in Downtown Miami. I went with for my brother-in-law’s birthday (pre-Covid) and we had a blast. Their age limit is 10 and above. They even have a cute little bar. My favorite part is when the people that work there come by and give everyone tips (if the person doesn’t mind). They are located at 540 N Miami Ave, Miami FL 33136.
Fox in a Box Room is rated #2 for fun & games in Miami and I see why. They have 7 different choices of escape rooms, but they are all amazing. Each room has a different age limit but the youngest is 12 years old. They are located in Downtown Miami at 28 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131.
This post is part of our Love Where You Live series. Be sure to check out the other posts in the series here!